The digital development of LGBTQ youth: Identity, sexuality, and intimacy

Tyler J. Hatchel*, Kaveri Subrahmanyam, Michelle Birkett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


We use a developmental tasks framework to guide the exploration of digital media and the development of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Since digital contexts are ubiquitous, it is clear that youth use them in the service of developmental tasks such as formation of identity, pursuit of intimacy, and development of sexuality. Research suggests that LGBTQ youth use digital media more often than their peers, likely due to the challenges they face. At the same time, electronic peervictimization and sexual health are concerns since LGBTQ youth are more likely to be at risk. Drawing on extant research we will show that digital media use is associated with stigma-related stressors and risks while concurrently offering opportunities for healthy development. The chapter concludes with recommendations for future research that should help bolster our understanding of how digital contexts may predict the development and well-being of LGBTQ youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIdentity, Sexuality, and Relationships among Emerging Adults in the Digital Age
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781522518570
ISBN (Print)1522518568, 9781522518563
StatePublished - Dec 12 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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